Cocktails get help from the kitchen

The Taproot cocktail

The cocktail renaissance is in its second decade, and now that the classics have been rediscovered and updated, creativity and innovation are defining the craft. Bartenders across the globe are incorporating new ideas and ingredients into their drinks, often borrowing heavily from the kitchen and garden

Carrot juice and even mushrooms are finding their way into glasses at bars across the US. The former is praised its ability to bring both a brightness and a subtle savory quality to drinks, while the latter can add structure and earthiness to cocktails. Another ingredient that has come to the forefront is chocolate. Forget the overly-sweetened chocolate "martinis" that once graced the menus of fast casual restaurants; modern drinks featuring chocolate are much more sophisticated. 

Dairy is getting a second look by bartenders as well. "Using dairy changes mouthfeel," says  Trick Dog's Morgan Schick. "If all you have is sweet and acid you are very limited from a palate sense." Using real dairy products can be tricky, as the alcohol will cause ingredients like milk and yogurt to curdle. To combat this, mixologists often turn to dairy-like products such as soy and almond 'milks'. 

Beer cocktails are gaining in popularity too, moving beyond the traditional (yet delicious) shandies and radlers. Bartenders are using sour beers and making beer syrups to enhance cocktails. Eaux de vie, once relegated to after-dinner sippers, are also being increasingly incorporated into drinks. According to Leo Robitschek of NYC's  NoMad Bar and Eleven Madison Park, the fruit and vegetable spirits can upgrade most cocktails. "Either you can make a Daiquiri with rum, lime and sugar," says Robitschek, "or you can make a Daiquiri that's enhanced… with maybe a little pear eau de vie."

Photo of The taproot from indexed blog Serious Eats

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